In just the same way, in order to restrain the dissemblers, Allah the Most High says: “Fain would they deceive Allah (yukhādi‘ūna Allāh),” rather than ‘Fain would they deceive the Prophet,’ [also] pointing out their stupidity. That is, how could they deceive the Prophet (Upon whom be peace) seeing that he is a Messenger from Allah the Most High. So their trickery reverts to Allah Himself, and it is impossible to trick Allah the Most High. To attempt the impossible is stupidity and such stupidity is only to be wondered at.
This is followed by “but they only deceive themselves (wa mā yakhda‘ūna illā anfusahum),” to point out their foolishness. That is, “There is no benefit in what you are doing, only harm; and its harm will turn back on you, as though you were deceiving yourselves.”
Following this is “and they realize it not (wa mā yash‘urūn),” to demonstrate their ignorance. That is, “You ignorant people! You’re further astray than beasts, or solid stones, for you can’t see the difference between benefit and harm!”
This is succeeded by “In their hearts is a disease (fī qulūbihim maraḍ̣un)” to show how contemptible they are, for their natures are corrupted. That is, if you don’t have wills, at least you should know the sickness for what it is, and that you are depraved. Indeed, dissembling and envy are sicknesses of the spirit, the mark of which is to distort the truth and change it so that you suppose sweetness to be bitter and bitterness to be sweet, and black to be white and white to be black; so don’t follow such a path!
Then it adds “so Allah has increased their disease (fa-zādahum Allāhu maraḍan)” to show their debasement. That is, you want a remedy to be cured of your anger and envy, but they are ailments that will only increase your sickness. You are like a person who breaks one of his hands, and seeking revenge on someone strikes him with it, causing it multiple fractures.
Next it says “and theirs is a grievous penalty (wa la-hum ‘adhābun alīmun),” in order to threaten them. That is, if you are seeking pleasure through this dissembling of yours, it will give you nothing but ghastly suffering now, and result in more terrible suffering in the hereafter. It is not like other sins, which afford a sort of immediate paltry pleasure.
Finally, it completes the section with “because they are false [to themselves] (bi-mā kānū yakdhibūn),” to brand them with the most repulsive stamp. That is, if you don’t come to your senses, and you haven’t come to